Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drug rehab runaways ‘don’t pose high risk to society’: NACD’s Vyrith

Drug rehab runaways ‘don’t pose high risk to society’: NACD’s Vyrith

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) secretary-general and spokesman Meas Vyrith. NACD

Drug rehab runaways ‘don’t pose high risk to society’: NACD’s Vyrith

National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) secretary-general and spokesman Meas Vyrith said drug addicts who fled the Keo Phos drug rehabilitation centre in Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district on November 20 do not pose a high risk to society.

He said the relevant authorities are investigating the case and working to locate those who ran away to bring them back to the centre.

After moving from the Kraing Thnong rehabilitation centre in Phnom Penh to the Keo Phos drug rehabilitation centre, about 30 of the 83 drug addicts have fled.

“Actually, they are drug-affected individuals. We checked and treated them and they have been treated, but they are ready to rehabilitate, so their risk to create social problems is low,” he said.

Vyrith said he was aware of the escape, but could not resume work until December 10, when his self-quarantine ended following a trip abroad.

He said he was now at the Keo Phos Drug rehabilitation Centre verifying their identities and contacting their guardians. He said most drug-affected people, who were brought to the centre by their guardians, do not have a job or skill.

“They are considered as victims of drugs, and we have to give them jobs when they stay in the centre because most of them do not have a real job. They have to receive food and accommodation services from the government,” he said.

Krang Thnong rehabilitation centre director Pin Valda said he had sent a list of the 30 escapees to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to search for their addresses.

“The reason we contacted the court was because some of them were detained by the police. After the arrest, the police made a report to the court, so their names are in the court file,” he said.

Licadho deputy director Am Sam Ath agreed that drug users should be considered victims and should be treated at a rehabilitation centre.

But he cautioned that some drug users also cause a lot of problems for society. He observed that some of them committed crimes such as theft and robbery, and some beat their wives and children while under the influence of drugs.

“The drug problem is a concern. It will affect our country’s human resources in the future and affect social security. Therefore, all stakeholders must jointly prevent and crack down on drug-related activities,” he said.


  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration